Obsidian Ridge Half Mile 2009
Cabernet Sauvignon from North Coast, California
Gorgeously ripened black fruit aromas leap from the glass, framed by the warm clove and cinnamon spice notes of the Tokaji barrels. There is an indelible pedigree and power to this wine, as it is as dark in color and plush in texture as one can imagine a wine to be. This character comes from the drought-suffering berries which really struggled to grow to full size, and in the final days of the season, lost a fifth of their weight due to evaporation from an astonishing dry spell. But it was precisely these conditions that provided the power, weight and density that makes this wine extraordinary. It is a show stopper.
Wine Enthusiast - "The winery doesn't reveal on the label what grape varieties are in this blend, but they're Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. It's a fine, delicious ine, with blackberry, dark chocolate and bacon flavors, wrapped into exceedingly fine tannins. It's well-balanced, too, with moderate alcohol and a nice lick of acids. Impressive and classy from this Lake County winery."
Obsidian Ridge Winery
Planted 2,600 feet high on the Mayacamas range north of Napa Valley, Obsidian ridge Vineyards grows mountain fruit. The steep slopes at this altitude are reddened by iron rich volcanic soils and littered with black shards of obsidian. Here in the Red Hills of Lake county the distinctive soils and mountain climate grow varietally vibrant and powerfully structured Cabernet Sauvignon. View all Obsidian Ridge Wines
About North CoastView a map of North Coast wineries
Beyond Napa and Sonoma in the north you find a couple of other counties producing great wine. Among these are Mendocino and Lake County. The northernmost California winegrowing regions, these two counties are right above Napa and Sonoma, geographically. Yet, wine-wise they are very different – both from their southern neighbors and from each other.
Notable FactsMendocino has a high amount of organic vintners and vines. The first winery to settle here was Fetzer, which practices organic viticulture and holds some of the most vineyard land in the area. Mendocino has many pockets of micro-climates while Lake County, being smaller in size, is less diverse climactically. As for the grapes, Chardonnay is the most popular in both counties, but there are also some excellent Sauvignon Blancs, particularly in the Lake County. In red wine, Zinfandel leads the way, followed by Rhone Blends and Petite Sirah. The reds in both counties are complex and sumptuous. Anderson Valley is a sub-AVA of Mendicino and is quite well known for its excellent cool climate, producing the delicious Roederer Estate sparkling wines and some wonderful cool-climate Syrah.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.